CHALLENGE BLOG 3
I’m sat on the 9.25am London Paddington train from Cardiff as I'm off to a premier of a short film i narrated a while back so whilst I'm sat here for the 2 hours it takes i thought id use my time wisely by writing my blog and keeping you all up to date with whats been going on since i last updated you 2 weeks ago.
I’ve just checked my countdown app and its reading 5 days, 20 hours, 05 mins and 03 seconds until i jump into Cardiff international pool to start my 30 day mission of 30 half iron distance triathlons in 30 days.
I cant believe how quick it s all come around, it only felt like yesterday i was thinking of it as i was running, now its all about to happen. Trainings all done too and I'm now tapering down so all i have left to do is to jump into the deep end and go for it. By any means do i think this challenge is going to be easy, i know that I'm about to witness the longest 30 days of my life. Its going to be physically, mentally and emotionally draining but thats the joys of endurance events, the high up’s and those low downs are where you get your adrenalin from. There will be days where i wont wanna get up but i know that as soon as i jump into the pool and warm up i’ll be game for yet another day. The thought of having people join me makes a huge difference to as i’ll have someone to talk to and that passes the time pretty well and at times numbs the pain.
Last week i started visiting the charities I'm supporting through my challenge and first up was the Guide dogs for the blind. Met up with a great bloke Frank who was very helpful and organised a day where i could actually go and meet some of the dogs and get to see them being trained and in turn get to walk with a trained dog completely blindfolded. I met up with Emily who has the job of training these great dogs 5 days a week………what a great job that must be working with dogs all day, ace. There were 3 dogs in the back of the car and i was gonna get to walk with Broderick who happens to be the slowest of the 3. Emily took me for a walk around the block with one of the other dogs (sorry forgot the name) and the first thing i noticed was before i could say jack robinson he was off like a dart. I cant believe how well trained these dogs are, as we reached the curb the dog literally wouldn't move or allow its owner to cross the road until he was given the all clear. I love dogs, always have and to see them work like this and to see their intelligence was amazing. The owner must listen out for cars and when he/she thinks its safe then he/she gives the go ahead to cross the road. The dogs are trained to look out for cyclists too but can you imagine how tough it is with the rise of electric cars????
As we carried on walking I'm looking at hazards in front and the dog at everyone of them slowed down and alerted its owner of them wether it be a tree, lamppost, bush etc. Anyway, we arrive back at the car and it was my turn to go for a blindfolded walk and out jumped Broderick who is a lovely black labrador with a great temperament. I put on the blindfold which was a proper one where i couldn't see jack sh*t or even a hint of daylight popping in from the sides. Its amazing how volatile you feel as soon as you loose your sight its pretty much a scary feeling. I started walking with Broderick and he was going slow but to me felt really fast so i was kinda leaning back and to my left for some reason (broderick was walking to the left of me) which Emily said is what everyone does first time. I carried on walking but all i could think of was walking into a lamppost or a car or anything really but i was quite simply in good hands as broderick was the ultimate professional as was Emily. One thing i noticed out of all my senses is that my hearing all of a sudden became VERY important and i could suddenly hear things at quite a distance away. I crossed the roads with no problems at all and then all of a sudden Broderick stopped. Apparently Emily likes to go for a coffee at Costa coffee so he automatically stopped to tell me we had arrived (laughter). We carried on and finished up back at the car in one piece. After just spending just that little amount of time with the dogs and their trainer it showed me how important these dogs are to blind people. Not only can they guide their owners safely around the streets but they can do many other things too. more importantly it gives them a companion they can call a friend if they happen to be lonely. www.guidedogs.org.uk
I also went to visit Ty-Hafan, i’ve visited on many occasions and its always very humbling and this time wasn't any different. I got to meet 4 month old little Lottie who was with her mother Danielle and sister Ellie. Lottie was born with her heart on the wrong side of her body and also born with one lung and to top it off her mother got told thats she’ll only have 2 hours to live. Lottie’s proved them wrong and is still alive 4 months later which is amazing. I honestly couldn't believe what they must have gone through and i’ll be brutally honest i was fighting back the tears. I was holding Lottie in my arms looking at her thinking of all she’s been through at such a young age. I know its a saying we hear regular “we don't know how lucky we are” but when your in these situations it shouts out loud in your mind and really does hit home. Danielle told me how grateful she was to have found Ty-Hafan and the great work and support her and her family have had from the hospice. It’s one of the many reasons i support Ty-Hafan and hopefully we can help by raising much needed funds for the hospice. www.tyhafan.org
I had a call off Jeff (bigmoose) one morning and he’d told me that Adam from Anna-Loka (100% vegan restaurant in Albany rd Cardiff) had agreed to sponsor me and feed me for the duration of the event which was amazing news. I’ve only met Adam a few times and you can tell he’s a good egg without even speaking to him and when i got to meet him i was right. Since turning vegan 4 months ago i really do believe its helped me health wise and has contributed a lot towards my training and more importantly saved a few animals. Everyday after i finish my run i get to go and eat the amazing food at Anna-Loka so thats got to be a good thing. If you haven't been please give it a go as its a great restaurant even if your not vegan.
After filling up at Loka and giving back my body what its lost in nutrients from excersice i get to pop into Agile therapy to get a massage and a lactic acid flush out and to top it of is just around the corner so it all works out very well indeed. There’s a good team at Agile and they always do a good job in keeping this old man rocking (laughter) www.agiletherapy.com
Jeff had organised a meeting with Kate Strong ( strongkate.com ) and Mark Colburne ( markcolbourne.com ) at Anna-Loka both of who are massively inspirational people in their own ways and what they’ve achieved in life is pretty amazing so i felt honoured to get to meet them and have them support my challenge. Sitting there listening to them talk about sport science was really interesting and what my body’s about to go through over the next 4 weeks was an eye opener. I’ve done my previous challenges pretty much punk rock i.e totally unorganised and just rock up and start and its as simple as that. With that attitude although fun and brings an element of surprise it can lead to big problems and trust me i’ve witnessed a few of them along with my brother Trigg (laughter) we almost died up Snowdon once but thats another story. There’s too much on my plate with this challenge and a lot of people have given up their time to help me so all these little bits of help are fully appreciated and hopefully will make my job easier. Mark’s going to join me on some of the bike rides and Kate’s going to join me on most of the swims, a few bike rides and i think she wants to join onto all the runs as she has a world record planned so I'm looking forward to spending some time with both. As i write this I've just got back from a 50 mile ride with Mark which was great. Its also the first time i got to ride my brand spanking new Starley Bike which they have kindly donated to me for my challenge which is very nice of them www.starleybikes.com and what a smooth ride it was too. First time on a stainless steel bike in a long time and i like it.
I think thats it for now. There are so many people i’d like to thank for helping me up to now it really is much appreciated. I’m not going to list you all as i’d hate it if i’d forgotten anyone but you all know who you are and your all champions in my eye’s. It started with an idea whilst running and in 2 days time its about to become reality. Over the last 6 months i’ve learnt a lot, built my confidence, trained a lot and met some very influential people and for that I'm very grateful.
30 days, 30 1.2 mile swims, 30 56 mile bike rides, 30 13.1 mile runs. Its time to ROCK’N’ROLL and raise some much needed ££££££££
See you at the start line and hopefully at the finish on March 30th for the mother of all parties